Best of web: Most fertile town...

The UK's most fertile town...

(GETTY IMAGES)

Women living in Britain's Weybridge in Surrey are more likely to fall pregnant than in any other area.

It is Britain's most fertile town, according to a study revealed recently.

They take an average of just three months to conceive, compared to the UK average of six months, reports The Sun.

Official statistics show Weybridge's birth rate shot up by 20 per cent between 2002 and 2008 - and is still rising. The town is part of the posh Elmbridge district, named this week as Britain's best place to live.

Parenting website Gurgle.com carried out the study, based on number of pregnancies by population and the average time taken to conceive. 
 
 
10-year-old enrolls for grad course...

(AGENCY)

She is India's youngest matriculate at the age of seven. 'Wonder Kid' Sushma Verma is now ready to pursue her graduation from Lucknow University at the tender age of 10.

University authorities approved the application moved by Verma's parents a few months ago for enrolling their daughter in a science graduation programme.

"I am thankful to the university authorities for being so considerate. I am sure that with her hard work and sincerity, my daughter will one day make the entire university administration proud," Verma's father Tej Bahadur told the media.

Lucknow University spokesperson told the media, "We should encourage every talented girl like Sushma. We hope with our decision the girl would inch closer to realise her dreams."

Born in February 2000, Verma cleared class 10 in 2007 with 59 percent and class 12 this year with 62 per cent. Due to some reasons, Sushma had to clear her class 11 in two years.
 
 
Fertiliser shortage puts a price on 'human manure'

(AGENCY)

Shops selling human excrement began operating in North Korea this year, as acute shortages of fertiliser in the sanctions-wracked country put a price on faeces, an analyst said Tuesday.

Aid groups have said human waste has long been used on domestic crops in the impoverished communist state, but there is now a trade in the readily available commodity, a North Korea analyst told a seminar at a South Korean university.

"Each household used to use human excrement as fertiliser. But because it's hard to keep up with the amount, 'human manure' shops showed up at markets,"   Kim Young-Soo, a professor at Seoul's Sogang University, told the seminar.

The lack of fertiliser has become acute since South Korea stopped annual shipments of rice and fertiliser to North Korea in 2008, amid worsening relations.

Kim also said other Products making their way on to a limited must-have list for North Koreans this year included skinny jeans, after a ban on fashionable trousers was lifted.

North Korean women have previously been told to wear only skirts or traditional attire in public places, but the interdiction on trousers was lifted this year, Kim said.

"Skinny jeans are now popular and are changing the fashion style of women in Pyongyang," he said, citing sources in the hermit state.

Other popular items include secretly imported South Korean products like instant noodles and adult movies, he said.

North Korea is a tightly controlled society with foreign-made films or dramas heavily censored or banned because of their decadent "imperialist" culture.

Defectors say South Korea's pop culture is nevertheless popular in the isolated country.  Videotapes and CDs of South Korean films, music or TV soap operas enter mainly via neighbouring northeast China.
 
 
Triplet born 11 years after sisters in Britain

(AGENCY)

A British family was celebrating the birth of a triplet, more than 11 years after her twin sisters came into the world, the Daily Mail has reported.

Ryleigh Shepherd was conceived on the same day as twins Megan and Bethany, but while their embryos were implanted in their mother during fertility treatment in 1998, Ryleigh's was frozen for more than a decade.

Parents Lisa and Adrian Shepherd first turned to fertility treatment after she was diagnosed with endometriosis and polycystic ovaries.

In December 2009, they decided to go for another round of IVF, using the embryos still stored at the clinic near Birmingham, central England.

The treatment proved successful, with the proud mother welcoming a familiar face.

"When Ryleigh arrived, she looked like both the girls did when they were born 11 years before," she said. "It was uncanny. The girls are thrilled to have a sister, and they know that she was conceived at the same time that they were but has been in the freezer."
 
 
Ads for Russian brides on Swedish FM's hacked blog

(AFP)

Ads for Russian brides and motivational speakers that temporarily appeared on Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt's blog could have been the work of hackers, he said Tuesday.

"There is apparently some hacking going on," Bildt told news agency TT when asked if he had started selling ad space on the popular blog, on which he comments on foreign affairs and other current events.

TT reported that an ad for a website of "beautiful Russians looking for love and marriage" first appeared on Bildt's blog after he entered a post on the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)'s summit in Kazakhstan in early December.

An ad for motivational speakers appeared a few weeks later, followed by one offering "professional financial advice from local experts around the world," TT said.

None of the ads were still visible Tuesday.

Bildt's spokeswoman Anna Charlotta Johansson told AFP that the blog did not normally allow ad space, and that the suspect ads have since disappeared.

She said she had never seen the ads herself, but had been provided with a screen shot showing "an ad for arrangement of Russian brides" on Bildt's blog.

Bildt is very active on both his blog and Twitter account, to which links are posted on the Swedish foreign ministry's official website.

He was criticised for describing the blasts that rocked central Stockholm on December 11 as a "terrorist attack" on Twitter before Swedish police or the prime minister had spoken on the matter.
 
 
Now chocolate will be even tastier

(FILE)

Chocolate may soon be about to get even more irresistible thanks to new research.

Scientists have pieced together the genetic code of the cacao tree, from which the "food of the gods" is obtained.

They believe the DNA sequence will lead to chocolate that is healthier, more sustainable and more delicious.

The researchers worked with a variety of cacao called Criollo that produces the world's best chocolate.

It was domesticated by the Maya people of Central America 3000 years ago, but is seldom grown in its pure form today.

Cacao farmers now prefer hybrid trees that yield poorer chocolate but are more resistant to disease.

Currently, production of fine cocoa - the raw ingredient of chocolate made from cacao beans - makes up less than 5 per cent of the world total.

But the new genome, or genetic code blueprint, could see a return to the supreme quality chocolate enjoyed by the Maya.

Scientists hope the information will be used to develop high-quality, disease-resistant strains.
 

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